2 more lawmakers die from coronavirus in Pakistan

Sajjad Hussain

Islamabad, Jun 3 (PTI) Two Pakistani lawmakers died from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, a day after a provincial minister and a legislator succumbed to COVID-19.

Mian Jamshed Kakakhel, 65, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, died while undergoing treatment at a hospital here after contracting coronavirus 10 days ago.

'Mian Jamshed was on ventilator for the last three days and passed away this morning,' an official said. 'His son Mian Omar has recovered from coronavirus while other family members have tested negative for it.' Kakakhel was elected from the constituency of PK-63 Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018.

In Punjab province, Pakistan Muslim League-(Nawaz) lawmaker from Gujranwala Shaukat Manzoor Cheema died on Wednesday in Lahore.

Cheema, a member of the Punjab Assembly, had been admitted to the Pakistan Kidney And Liver Institute (PKLI) after contracting the virus. He also suffered from heart ailments.

Cheema was under treatment at a hospital in Lahore where he died, his colleague in the assembly Bilal Farooq Tarar tweeted.

'His condition had significantly improved a few days back... he was taken off the vent. (But) deteriorated all of a sudden today,' Tarar tweeted.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the demise of Cheema. 'He was an important asset of the party and his services were unforgettable,” Shehbaz said in a statement.

Several lawmakers in Pakistan were infected with the coronavirus virus and some of them have died.

On Tuesday, Sindh Minister for Human Settlement Ghulam Murtaza Baloch died in Karachi due to the coronavirus.

Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Munir Khan Orakzai also died on Tuesday, days after recovering from the coronavirus.

Irfanullah Khan Orakzai, the deceased lawmaker's nephew, said his uncle had tested positive for the coronavirus in April but made a full recovery and last tested negative on May 8.

Eight members of the KP Assembly have been infected with coronavirus, including Madiha Nisar, Kamran Bangash, Dr Amjad Ali, Bahadur Khan, Ziaullah Bangash, Shafiq Afridi and Inayatullah.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser was also infected but recovered.

Pakistan reported a record 4,132 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the total number of infections in the country to 80,463.

The jump in the number of cases comes two day after Prime Minister Imran Khan said that people should learn to live with COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed.

Khan addressed the media on Monday after chairing the meeting of National Coordination Committee, the highest body to tackle the pandemic.

'Coronavirus will not go away until the vaccine is discovered. We need to learn to live with it and we can live with it if we follow precautions,' he said.

He said the one million volunteers of the government's coronavirus force will raise awareness of the need to follow guidelines. PTI SH MRJ ZH